Why we should talk about the underrated Sulu Cuisine

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The culture from the Southermost part of the Philippines is not one that many people talk about. And I’ve often wondered why. See here, theirs is a culture so varied yet authentic, free from Westernization but with a hint of Asian influences.

One of the best things of being in South Mindanao is the fact that it is the Philippines’ gateway to the distinct and unique variety of cultures coming from our Asian neighbours. From the Satti of the Malays, to the cross culture of the Muslim-Chinese — surely this region has a lot to offer.

Now hailing from Sulu, at the tip of Mindanao, is a cuisine well celebrated in the region yet hardly acknowledged in the rest of the country. So let us do the jobof  breaking down two of the best things that ever graced the dining tables here:

First would have to be Tiula Itum. Tiula sounds like another Filipino dish called Tinola, where the meat is steamed with vegetables for a hearty viand. Itum, on the other hand, is the Cebuano term for black. This hybrid dish is usually made of steamed beef with spices, and is colored by the roasted coconut until it’s black.

My other favorite would be the Kahawa Sug, the famed Sulu coffee. Kahawa Sug is locally made and brewed freshly to perfection. The texture is usually thick and long, and is often served with Mascovado sugar, no creamer. This coffee has been a huge part of the way of life in Sulu that in fact, it is present in all post lunch snacks and celebrations.

There are many other great food to talk about, but let us reserve that for another day. For now, we do hope you can try out the best of Sulu Cuisine.

Photos taken at: Dennis Coffee Garden, KCC Mall de Zamboanga

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